Swasthya Sambad in conversation with Dr. Sanjib Kumar Mishra, MD, Radiation Oncology, Sanjibani Cancer Centre
Is cancer a lifestyle disease?
We need to understand that the traditional lifestyle techniques and practices had a lot of positive impact on the human body. Eating organic food, going through less pollution, sleeping on time, waking up early, cycling etc were some of the practices that made our life less stressful. Back then we humans had limited demands and internet was not how people socialized. So basically, the ‘quality of life’ was much better earlier than it is now.
However, in today’s day and age life is a rush and city life has become target centric. From personal to professional, stress is common. With stress came alcohol and smoking addiction, eating junk food, vegetables with pesticides in it. Eventually, our body is reacting to such environmental and external changes which are reflecting in the form of cancer.
Let’s take for example obesity. Eating junk food, sitting at one place in office with no physical workout is not only creating problems for other diseases but it might also come with cancer.
Is Cancer an expensive treatment?
I have an interesting study that most of the asymptomatic cancer patients who come to us go through psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. After thorough analysis we found that the reason behind stress and anxiety is not because they are scared of losing their lives but post death impact. What my family, my kids will go through once I’m dead or where from do I get the money for my treatment or will I have to sell my property for treatment is the primary reason behind stress and anxiety.
As far as the burden of cost is concerned, there are schemes available at government level which is helping a lot of patients. The schemes are actually empowering an individual at least to come and consult a doctor which is why there has been an increase in the numbers of cancer patients.
What are the chances of survival?
It is said that cancer is curable if detected early. Survival of a patient depends on few important factors. First being at what stage does a patient reaches the doctor. Whether it’s early stage or locally advanced or completely advanced stage, survival and cure depends on the stage of detection.
Secondly, it depends on the biology of the cancer. There are certain cancers that are aggressive in nature which means that after detection also the cancer has chances of spreading to different parts of the body. This completely depends on the genetic makeup of the tumor.
Third important factor is proper evaluation and treatment. It is important for an individual to visit an oncologist in the right time and receive proper medication.
After following all these procedures, we can come to a conclusion whether a patient can survive cancer or not.
About Dr. Sanjib Kumar Mishra
MD, Radiation Oncology
Formerly at TATA Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
Sr. Consultant Clinical & Radiation Oncologist, Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar
Visiting Consultant Oncologist, Care Hospital, Bhubaneswar